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Friday, May 6, 2016

BUFFALO -- Better Business Bureau is warning local businesses to be aware of a scam from a company claiming they are owed money.

Businesses have reported the phony directory invoice is coming in via fax, demanding payment for services that owners say they didn’t receive. The invoice, from American Yellow Group, claims to be from the “outsourced billing department” in Bulgaria. The notice states that the business purchased “Facebook and Twitter features” and that it is the "last chance to protect your credit score in good standing.”
One of the red flags on the invoices states "Send check to address to Bulgaria. Varna, Vinitsa 9002, PO Box 83” with a reminder to send the payment with international postage. A sample of the invoice is at left.

BBB offers the following advice to avoid falling victim to a directory invoice scam:

  • Question the services. If you or anyone in your company didn't order the services or if you don’t have a history with that company, do not supply any personal information or submit payments. You are not legally required to pay the invoice.
  • Train the staff. Inform employees to be aware of potential invoice/computer and phone scams. Encourage them to flag suspect invoices for review.
  • Keep up-to-date records. Record an updated list of vendors and services your business is associated with to avoid falling for a scam that looks similar to a legitimate company.

BBB asks any business that encounters one of these invoices or another directory scam to report it to BBB’s Scam Tracker.

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